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Top 10 Fears that Stops Us from Having the Relationship we want...

1. It is inevitable that the relationship will end painfully.

Perhaps the relationship will end... when that happens some pain is probably inevitable. It is the idea of the inevitability of the end that needs to be addressed. To confront the fear of the future, or the past, it is important to remain in the present. Avoid talking about past experiences too much. Try not to over-anticipate where the relationship is going. By staying in the present, you give the relationship the greatest opportunity to evolve according to its own path. In addition, by staying in the present, you give yourself the opportunity to recognize and process intuitive signals about the relationship that may help to avoid additional hurt in the long run.

2. Nobody can ever really understand me.

Try to think of the psycho-emotional life of human beings as being made up of a deck of cards. There are only 52 cards in the deck and in any given round you may be dealt some combination of the 52. But everyone is playing with the same deck. Try to communicate what you are experiencing through the use of metaphor.... sometimes this is the best way to get others to connect with who we are and what we feel. Start off in a private journal perhaps, then graduate to close friends and associates... until you begin to become comfortable and feel visible.

3. I won’t be able to maintain the energy a good relationship requires.

Establishing and maintaining a healthy, satisfying relationship does require work, and the definition of work implies the expenditure of energy (remember high school physics). However, energy is a tricky notion and we often don’t give ourselves credit for just how capable we all are at creating it. A while back, I attended a seminar in which the facilitator insisted that energy was a choice. He insisted that if a million dollars were at stake, we would all find the energy to do what was necessary to get the money. Theoretically, I understood. Well, it was my turn to be one of the group leaders at another seminar; I finally understood what he meant. When I least felt I could go on, I found the energy to serve my team beyond what I thought was possible. I learned, then and there, that I was more capable of doing whatever it takes than I ever believed. Of course, a healthy relationship is supposed to provide you, from time to time, with the space to relax from the stresses of life. Be willing to ask for the space you need to regenerate (occasionally - don’t take advantage). If your partner is not willing to give you that space, perhaps there are other issues at play.

4. I’ll have to give up too much of myself.

Each individual has the power to set the boundaries for his/her life. If you have difficulty establishing firm boundaries for your “self” - you need to work on that with a coach or, perhaps even, a therapist. Be incredibly selfish. By exercising extreme self-care, you will be able to bring more of your authentic self into the relationship; the result will take the relationship to incredibly new levels.

5. He/she will eventually see the “real” me and reject me.

Human beings are multi-faceted; the falsehood is that the social self we present is not the authentic self.... it is!! It is a part of who we are. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses; everyone has a “shadow” (as Carl Jung defined it). Embrace all aspects of you. Until you are willing to accept the potential dark side of who you are, you are blocked from being able to fully actualize the self. All aspects of who you are to the world are part of the whole you!

6. He/she won’t understand my physical needs and desires.

There are plenty of sex therapists out there who will give advice on how to introduce requests for unusual sex play.... this topic is not merely about that area of physical relationships. Human sexuality is critical to our existence. No one should deny or avoid addressing what they want or need to satisfy this area of their lives. Again, it is important to share and to be open to a partner’s sharing... free of judgment. Through open communication, we can learn whether or not we are compatible with our partners. The sooner we discover this, the more able we are to successfully negotiate and invest in a relationship that is fully satisfying.

7. He/she will discover “this area” of my life where I am weak and will judge me entirely on that.

Risky, yes, but necessary. We must show a certain amount of vulnerability and trust that the person we’ve chosen authentically loves and cares for us, in spite of potential flaws. However, we cannot control other people’s responses. The best thing to do is to allow our partners to see who we are (over time) and learn whether or not they are worthy of our trust. But fearing their response doesn’t serve our own long term interest. If they judge us, we don’t want them... if they don’t, hiding from them only breeds mistrust.

8. Nobody is completely honest and trustworthy; so, I can’t trust him/her.

Some people are neither honest, nor worthy of our trust. This is a good reason to stay present and in touch with our intuition. Assuming that you can’t trust anybody indicates the issue is more related to earlier life issues. In order to have an incredible relationship, it is necessary to allow yourself to be vulnerable...not to the point of potential danger, and not fully vulnerable immediately. Again, stay present and listen to your intuitive responses.

9. He/she is trying to get something from me.

First, ask yourself if your partner has actually done anything to indicate this, or if you have the tendency to enter into relationships with this mindset. Remember, you are always in control and able to set the boundaries of what you are willing to give. Be fully responsible for what you freely give to people.... you won’t feel taken advantage of as easily. Also, relationships are about giving and getting.... you don’t need to worry that you will run out of yourself... there is always more of YOU! If you are willing to “give” yourself... then no one has the opportunity to “take” from you.

10. If I let him/her know how much I love him/her, they will interpret it as “need,” get scared and leave.

Sometimes, it is not necessary to report to your partner the full extent of every feeling you experience. The beauty and the value of experiencing ourselves in relationship with another human being is just that.... experiencing ourselves. Often there is great value in contemplating our own ability to experience the capacity to love and relate. Practice enjoying your own ability to relate and eventually you’ll feel comfortable communicating your experience without fear of how the other person may respond. Which, by the way, is quite out of your control anyway.

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